The State of Medical Marijuana in Wyoming
2020 Grade: F
2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations
While no functional changes were made to the state’s extremely limited low-THC CBD law since last year’s edition of this report, Wyoming did approve HB 171 in 2019. This legislation follows congressional approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, which authorized a national hemp production program to replace the previously existing national pilot program. Specifically, the bill yields oversight and rulemaking authority of Wyoming’s hemp production and regulation program to the U.S. Department of Food and Drug Administration. Wyoming’s hemp production plan was approved by USDA in the spring of 2020, allowing for in-state production of hemp-derived CBD as well as other hemp products to go forward. The Wyoming Department of Agriculture approved its first processing and production license in March of 2020.
As Wyoming lawmakers look to 2021, ASA recommends organizing legislation to remove arbitrary caps on THC levels in authorized cannabis products to allow for more effective treatment, and entertain treatment of a larger population of patients with a diversity of health conditions. ASA also encourages immediately implementing state protections for patients related to housing, employment, education and parental rights, significant expansion of the state’s list of eligible conditions acceptable for cannabis treatment, and a focus on improving product safety regulations. Finally, ASA recommends authorizing a licensing system to support cultivation and sale of in-state medical cannabis and related products to patients, as well as permitting patients to cultivate cannabis at home for medical use. Such a system would offer patients a greater variety of options to treat their condition, and address cost challenges cannabis patients face due to the lack of insurance coverage of cannabis products.
In 2015, Wyoming enacted HB 32, which created a legal right for patients with intractable epilepsy to obtain registry ID cards and possess and use low-THC extracts. The law does not allow for the in-state production or dispensing of medical cannabis. The Wyoming Department of Health currently issues patient ID cards to those who qualify.
Wyoming does allow patients to obtain certain low-THC products from other jurisdictions, but does not have any method for production or distribution within the state. Wyoming also places arbitrary caps on levels of THC and fails to protect patients from civil discrimination including housing, employment, organ transplants, and parental rights. The state should also expand the number of eligible conditions and include product safety regulations.
Surveyed patients report feeling frustrated that, again this year, medical cannabis is illegal in Wyoming, except for low-THC extracts.